Earlier in 2019, the US women’s soccer team’s struggle for equal pay put female athlete’s earnings in the spotlight once again. According to Wealthy Gorilla, the world’s richest athlete in 2019 is former professional wrestler Vince McMahon, with an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion. Compare this with the $200 million that the wealthiest woman is worth and it’s clear that the sports world still has a long way to go towards gender equality. So who are the richest female athletes of 2019? Here are some of them. Amounts are in US dollars.
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20. Chris Evert
Net worth: $16 millionFor 13 years, Chris Evert won at least one Grand Slam title a year. The diamond bracelet she lost during a match at the 1987 US Open is as famous as the most expensive jewellery every worn to the Oscars and gave us the term “tennis bracelet”. These days Chris owns a tennis academy, is publisher of Tennis magazine, works as a tennis commentator and has her own clothing line. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has a fortune of $16 million.
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19. Ana Ivanovic
Net worth: $16 millionAna Ivanovic became interested in tennis when she was five and watched her countrywoman Monica Seles play on TV. As NATO bombed Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War, she had to schedule her training to avoid the air strikes. She persevered, though, and went on to win the French Open and become the top female tennis player. She has a net worth of $16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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18. Michelle Kwan
Net worth: $16 millionMichelle Kwan was the figure-skating world champion five times during her career and was one of the most popular competitors in the sport. This brought her many endorsements and TV specials as well as book deals. She’s eve starred as herself in an episode of The Simpsons. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has amassed a fortune of $16 million.
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17. Lindsay Davenport
Net worth: $20 millionIn the 1990s, Lindsay Davenport won three different Grand Slam titles without losing a set. She was ranked No. 1 in the WTA rankings eight different times and has also been ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles. Becoming a mentor is one of the best things to do after retirement and Lindsay did just that, becoming Madison Keys’ coach in 2015. Celebrity Net Worth estimates her fortune at $20 million.
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16. Monica Seles
Net worth: $20 millionThere are things that are never OK to say to women in the workplace— but Monica Seles experienced something even worse while working: in 1993, she was stabbed on court during a match. She made her comeback two years later but never quite returned to the form that had made her the youngest French Open champion at age 16. She has since written a memoir and has an estimated net worth of $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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15. Billie Jean King
Net worth: $20 millionThere’s a good reason why so many of the world’s richest female athletes are tennis players: it’s all thanks to the pioneering advocacy work of Billie Jean King. She founded the WTA, among others, and tirelessly pushed for equal pay and gender equality in the game. The legendary player, who dominated women’s tennis in the 1970s, is also an author and movie producer and has a estimated net worth of $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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14. Agnieszka Radwánska
Net worth: $25 millionAgnieszka Radwánska holds several tennis records, including the highest number of consecutive years as the WTA’s Fan Favourite Singles Player. This made the Polish player very marketable during her career, bringing in the endorsements and contributing to her net worth of $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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13. Martina Hingis
Net worth: $25 millionBack in the day, Martina Hingis broke several records, including becoming the youngest ever Grand Slam champion when she was just 15. The Swiss player could have done with some tips for adjusting to retirement: she retired and returned to the game several times. Through a combination of prize money, endorsements and her own clothing line, she has built up a fortune of $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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12. Steffi Graf
Net worth: $30 millionWidely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Steffi Graf dominated the game in the late 1980s and 1990s. She holds the records for the highest number of weeks ranked in the top spot. Even today, two decades after she retired from the sport, she still gets endorsement deals, giving her a net worth of $30 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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11. Angelique Kerber
Net worth: $30 millionSteffi Graf is one of the players credited as having popularized tennis in Germany and among those champions following in her footsteps is Angelique Kerber. Already the holder of three Grand Slam titles, Kerber also has several lucrative endorsement deals. According to Celebrity Net Worth, her fortune is estimated at $30 million.
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10. Simona Halep
Net worth: $30 millionWimbledon’s 2019 female champion Simona Halep is the first Romanian woman to have been ranked at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. After being the runner-up at the 2018 Australian Open without a sponsor, she is now raking in the endorsements and has an estimated net worth of $30 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She is definitely not one of the stars who regret their plastic surgery: when she was 17, she had breast reduction surgery to help her become a better tennis player.
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9. Caroline Wozniacki
Net worth: $30 millionFormer world No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki hails from Denmark, one of the richest countries, and was the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top spot in tennis. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has a personal fortune of $30 million, coming from a combination of prize money and endorsement deals.
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8. Annika Sörenstam
Net worth: $40 millionWith an estimated net worth of $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Anika Sörenstam is the lone woman among the world’s richest professional golfers. Originally from Sweden, she has more career wins to her name than any other female golf pro. She has also designed several golf courses, owns a golfing academy and has her own clothing line, fragrance and wine label.
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7. Li Na
Net worth: $50 millionLi Na was the first woman from Asia to win a Grand Slam singles title. Her on-court success also made her one of the world’s most marketable athletes and an icon in her native China, one of the countries with the most billionaires. She still has some way to go to join the billionaire ranks herself, though: Celebrity Net Worth estimates her fortune at $50 million.
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6. Anna Kournikova
Net worth: $50 millionAnna Kournikova is proof that you don’t have to be at the top of your game to make plenty of money from it. She never won a singles title during her career but she was a fan favourite and this brought in many endorsement deals and modelling gigs. After retiring from professional tennis, she did some TV work. Celebrity Net Worth estimates her fortune at $50 million.
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5. Danica Patrick
Net worth: $60 millionFromer racing driver Danica Patrick is the only woman to have ever won an IndyCar Series race. Her estimated net worth of $60 million according to Wealthy Gorilla comes from a combination of prize money, endorsement deals, books, gigs as TV host, acting, an activewear line and her own brand of wine. Unlike the rest of us, she probably doesn’t have to worry about ways to cut your car costs.
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4. Venus Williams
Net worth: $95 millionThe older of the Williams sisters made history in 2002 when she became the first African American woman to be ranked No. 1 in the WTA rankings. Venus Williams also led a successful campaign to ask for equal prize money for female tennis players and upon her 2007 Wimbledon win, she was the first female winner to earn as much as the male winner at the tournament. She also has business interests, including a fashion line and an interior design company, putting her estimated net worth at $95 million, according to TheStreet.
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3. Alexis DeJoria
Net worth: $100 millionRetired drag racer Alexis DeJoria was one of the top performers in her sport and now owns her own racing team. Most of her estimated net worth of $100 million according to Celebrity Net Worth, however, comes from the fact that her father isn’t one of those millionaires who won’t leave their kids much money. She’s already benefiting from the fortune built up by her dad, Paul Mitchell co-founder John Paul DeJoria.
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2. Maria Sharapova
Net worth: $195 millionMaria Sharapova was only 18 when she became the first Russian woman to be ranked No. 1 in the WTA rankings. She also raked in the endorsement deals and modelling assignments to supplement her prize money. A line of tennis apparel, shoe and bag designs for Cole Haan and her Sugarpova candy line have helped her build up a net worth of $195 million, according to Popsugar.
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1. Serena Williams
Net worth: $200 millionAccording to Celebrity Net Worth, Serena Williams has an estimated net worth of $200 million, making her the richest female athlete and the top woman among the richest tennis players in the world. The tennis great has earned more prize money than any other female athlete during her career so far and supplements her income with lucrative endorsement deals and her own fashion line.